TWO Bangladesh nationals in their early 20s narrowly escaped death when one of the five shops they operate in Daveyton, Ekurhuleni, was petrol bombed by unknown people yesterday morning.
The attack at the Super Corner Shop, a stone's throw from Dumehlezi Primary School, is co-owned by Mohammed Natrul Islam, 39, and countryman Kazi Mohammed Enamul Hoque.
Speaking to Sowetan soon after the attack, Islam said his workers had just opened the shop when a man they assumed to be a customer hurled a petrol bomb into the spaza shop.
"Within minutes the shop was engulfed in flames. One worker sustained superficial burns on his back while another, with serious burns, was taken to the local clinic for treatment. The third escaped injury by kicking open the security gate," he said.
Islam estimated the damage to property and stock at about R63000.
"Though I do not have strong evidence, this sudden attack on businesses owned by foreign nationals is too much of a coincidence.
"I personally think the attacks are being orchestrated by unknown persons acting on the instructions of our competitors because our prices are reasonable and also because we extend credit to pensioners," he said.
A short distance away from the crime scene police found a bottle filled with sand and petrol. Next to the bottle was another containing petrol.
Daveyton police spokesman Captain Alfred Nakane said it was no accident that the bombing of the spaza shop came barely 12 hours after a daring armed robbery at two other shops owned by the same businessmen in Tolo Street on Wednesday night.
The Bangladeshi men also own four other spaza shops in Daveyton's strategically preferred sites such as Yende, Phaswana, Chiloana and Ramza in Sgodiphola.